View Full Version : Pigeon River - Polluted?

05-14-2006, 09:29 PM
Hey guys -

I've been told the stretch of river next to I-40 on the TN-NC border is 1) the Pigeon and 2) polluted with heavy metals. Is this true? It's a gorgeous stretch of water.


05-15-2006, 08:11 AM
The Pigeon River pollution goes back a number of years when Champion Paper was using it as a discharge point. There was extremely high concentrations of arsenic, lead and cholride used in paper production. Since the half life on many of these compounds is decades, one would have to assume that the chemical presence is still there. I have not personally read a water quality report in a number of years on the Pigeon but maybe another reader has.

It is unfortunate that some of the best appearing streams for fish cannot sustain a trout population because of water qualities, summer temperatures, etc.

05-16-2006, 12:20 PM
TWRA and others have done alot for the Pigeon since the days of Champion paper.I would't eat any but the smallie action there and on down river is HOT!!!


05-16-2006, 03:39 PM
I wouldn' t eat them either but it is full of Smallmouth and some big ones.... I does get too warm for trout in the summer and I am sure it did long before Champion started dumping Dioxin into the stream. I have seen pictures of 6lb smallies from the water below the spot where Big Creek empties in. Have also seen some large trout pulled from that water (the father and son who caught them were keeping them, said they taste great!)
Lets get out there!

05-16-2006, 04:21 PM
I live about 20/30 miles from there.Give me a shout when you are heading that way.I will have raft in tow and don't mind a bit for you guys to sit at the oars! ;D ;D


05-16-2006, 09:55 PM
Growing up along the river, the "old folks" always said if you had a sore to bath in the river and it would heal it....no joke! *Large trout (>20") have been caught recently from as far downstream as Newport.